Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (27 page)

BOOK: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
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“Dogger,” I said quietly, “it's me, Flavia.”

His head came slowly round and he looked up at me, and I saw that his eyes were brimming with tears.

“What is it, Dogger?” I asked.

“I'm afraid, Miss Flavia…,” he said. “I'm afraid—”

“No need to be afraid, Dogger. Everything is all right.”

And then as I saw the reason for his weeping, a howl escaped my throat and went echoing round the room.

I was shaken as if by a fierce but invisible wind. I could barely breathe.

“Oh, Dogger,” I gasped, clutching at his shoulder. “Whatever shall I do without him?”

“You must cry, Miss Flavia,” Dogger said, looking up at me from his haunted, tearstained face. “You must cry as long and as hard as ever you can.”

For Shirley—then, now, and always


to Dana Cameron and Carla Coupe, of the Femmes Fatales, those ferociously creative and talented women dedicated to the fine art of crime fiction. Dana and Carla were the successful bidders in an auction at the 2015 Baker Street and Friends weekend in New York City, for the right to name a character in the next Flavia de Luce novel in support of the very worthy Watson Fund.

Oh, yes…their character? Carla Sherrinford-Cameron. I hope I haven't treated her too cruelly.

Thanks also to legendary Sherlockian Peter Blau for helping make all of this possible. It was inspiring—and awe-inspiring—to meet Peter at last, after having heard of him everywhere for so many years.

Thanks, too, to Les Klinger, Mike Whelan, and Mary Ann Bradley, and to Steven Rothman, all esteemed members of the Baker Street Irregulars, for extending so cordial a welcome to an ailing Sherlockian.

To Peter Calamai, C.M., and Mary Calamai for so warmly welcoming a wandering alien. As they (almost) said in
My Fair Lady
: We could have talked all night.

Again, with thanks to Roger K. Bunting, Professor Emeritus, Inorganic Chemistry, Illinois State University, for sharing his vast knowledge of historical photographic chemical arcana.

To Nick and Lynne Ingham, and to Steve and Lesley Ingham, who, far beyond the call of duty, rolled up their sleeves and pitched in when it mattered the most. Without them, there would have been no—

Well, let's not even think about that!

To cousins Garth and Helga Taylor for their hospitality and for providing, not just a warm oasis in the bitter cold, but also a forgotten piece of family incantatory lore.

To Jim Sherman, of Perfect Books, in Ottawa, who was the perfect host. And to Barbara Fradkin, compère without compare. Thank you, Barbara!

To Elvira Toewes for arranging an unforgettable homecoming in Toronto, and to Bill and Barb Bryson, cousins also, on the Bradley side, for re-creating the family circle of vanished years.

To Ben McNally, of Ben McNally Books in Toronto, for making a dream come true.

One of the great—and unforeseen—joys of writing the Flavia books has been in hearing from friends I had thought long lost. One of the chiefest of these has been Jim Richards, now of Colorado. Although Jim and I labored together in the vineyards of radio long ago, at a time when the vines were still young, we lost touch for more than half a century. Jim went on to even greater great glory in the television racket, becoming one of the most internationally award-winning writer/producer/directors ever. His many suggestions—based on his own growing up in England during the years in question—have added immeasurably to the world of Flavia de Luce. As Webster said in
The Duchess of Malfi
: “Old friends, like old swords, still are trusted best.”

Thank you, Jim!

Flavia de Luce Novels

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

A Red Herring Without Mustard

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

Speaking from Among the Bones

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd

Flavia de Luce Stories

The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse


is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children's stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir
The Shoebox Bible
. His first Flavia de Luce novel,
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie,
received the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His Flavia de Luce novels are
The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
Speaking from Among the Bones, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches,
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust,
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd

Look for Alan Bradley on

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BOOK: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
6.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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